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Mary Walker is introduced to us in a recent Stuff article titled Zero motivation? Completely exhausted? It's you and many others, say experts. She has been "so tired" for months. "I just feel lethargic," she says. "I haven't got any motivation, because I can't plan things like I normally would."
Mary's experience is not unique, people everywhere are experiencing emotional "ups and downs", low levels of motivation, fatigue and stress.
The good news is that activity providers are well positioned to make a big contribution to the recovery effort. Routines and structure play an important role in helping people cope with uncertain times.
In a mere few days, NZers went from being able to meet in groups to strict self isolation and social distancing restrictions. These changes, implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19, have had a major impact on many businesses and not-for-profits, and the exercise sector has been particularly hard hit. Group exercise is all about bringing people together, so overnight many activity providers were faced with a mountain of new challenges. Namely, how to adapt and deliver classes in this new environment!
Wearables – fitness trackers, smart watches, HR monitors, and GPS tracking devices – are a booming industry!
Wearable technology was the no. 1 trend in the most recent worldwide fitness trends survey conducted by The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) – and has been since 2016!
The use of wearable technology in the healthcare sector is only going to extend according to Soreon research – with a predicted increase of investments into the healthcare sector from $2 billion in 2014 to $41 billion in 2020.
EXOS Performance specialist Cody Carter believes "we're entering a phase in the health and performance industries where technology and people have to find ways to work together. When fitness professionals embrace wearables and use data to their advantage, it can improve business and help more people meet their goals". So let's take a look at how trainers and instructors can harness the benefits of wearable tech..
When was the last time you attended a training day, a conference, read a research article or spent time with someone you consider a role model or mentor? Learning and development takes time and energy, and it will sometimes take you out of your comfort zone, however it will also likely energise, inspire and open up new doors and opportunistic. And the good news is, it has never been easier for activity providers to tap into learning opportunities.
NZ men live on average four years less than women according to Ministry of Health data, with Maori and Pacific men having even shorter expected life spans. This is despite men having comparable self-reported ratings of good to excellent health.
Obesity is a significant problem. Thirty percent of NZ men are obese and a further 39 percent overweight. Researcher Dr Fiona Doolan-Noble says, "New Zealand men are getting fatter, faster than men elsewhere". Chronic health conditions including heart disease, lung cancer and diabetes are major causes of death. Reasons for this are multifactorial, but include unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and smoking.
The good news is that research has shown that men are concerned about their weight and health - despite common stereotypes to the contrary (Maddison et al. 2019). Engagement is the challenging part. What are the reasons for lack of participation, and what can activity providers and exercise professionals do to make their classes, groups and programmes more "men-friendly"?
"Walking is the closest thing to a magic bullet for health" – Graham Colditz MD, Washington University School of Medicine.
The many benefits associated with walking are often quite understated. On closer inspection, they really are quite remarkable! How can something we often think very little about make such a big difference to way we feel, our health, and our communities?
This edition we'll be checking out these benefits in more detail. We'll also take a look at upcoming events, Nordic walking and free walking resources.